Alumni converge under the stars at the Griffith Observatory

Mon, 10/15/2018

On the night of the alumni event, the weather and clear sky allowed for optimal telescope viewing.

Alexandra Nay

The School of Physical Sciences, Henry Samueli School of Engineering, and Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences hosted 250 guests at the Los Angeles Griffith Observatory on the evening of August 27th  where, alumni, faculty, and friends gathered beneath a clear sky and glittering stars.


The tri-school alumni event included exclusive access to the observatory exhibits and state-of-the-art telescopes. In addition, guests were treated with a fascinating lecture, “Biography of the Milky Way,” by Chair and Professor of UCI Physics & Astronomy James Bullock.


Deans Kenneth Janda (Physical Sciences), Gregory Washington (Henry Samueli School of Engineering), and Marios Papaefthymiou (Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences) welcomed guests to the event at the start of the lecture. In his talk, Professor James Bullock told the story of how our home galaxy, the Milky Way, came to be.


As the sun set over the valley, guests networked over cocktails and hors d’ouvres while enjoying panoramic views of the city.


The weather and clear sky allowed for optimal telescope viewing and guests had the opportunity to use the Zeiss refracting telescope, which is in the copper clad dome of the observatory. The Zeiss was pointed at Saturn, the second largest planet in the solar system and viewers could easily see the shadow and rings visible through the Zeiss’s lens.


 The night was capped by the Samuel Oschin Planetarium Show and a dessert reception.


The Griffith Observatory Alumni event marks the third annual alumni event between the three schools. Events like these are important to the alumni network because they foster a sense of community, introduce new research, and facilitate networking opportunities.


To view pictures of the event go to find out more about the alumni community, upcoming events or to get involved visit or check out our Instagram and Facebook pages.